Rami Al Ali rethinks his business model

Behind the pearls, feathers and embroidery of Haute Couture often hides an unknown reality. That of these small artisanal houses, which also had to face the crisis caused by the Covid-19, just like the large luxury groups or other brands. The Syrian couturier, based in Dubai, Rami Al Ali, who has just presented his fall-winter 2021/22 couture collection as part of Paris Week, is one of those fashion players pushed by the pandemic to reinvent himself .

Three silhouettes of the couture collection for next winter – Rami Al Ali

“2020 has been quite difficult. Even though the city of Dubai has remained a little more open compared to other European capitals, business has been affected by the absence of all these events, ceremonies, parties, etc. which accounted for the majority of our sales “, tells us the designer, who was forced, like many others, to reduce its costs and its workforce.

“Out of 75 people, we had to transfer 45, mostly embroiderers, to different countries, including India, where they came from. This allowed us to save on rents and salaries which are very expensive in Dubai. “, he explains.

At the same time, Rami Al Ali launched a merchant site, ramialali.com. This has allowed it to gain visibility, in particular with its ready-to-wear line, launched in 2016, but so far sold only in the Middle East region and the United Arab Emirates. It was also able to partially offset the loss of its multi-brand retailers in Paris, Moscow, Hong Kong and South Korea.

To expand its offer, it launched the White ready-to-wear line at the start of the year, focusing on wedding and evening dresses, which will be offered once a year. Available mainly in white, the collection offers around fifteen looks of understated elegance decorated with refined ornaments and semi-couture details. These ceremonial and wedding outfits are marketed in a price range of 1,200 to 12,000 euros.

“In business, you have to take risks. If I still bet on dresses designed for special occasions, it is because I am convinced that after this long confinement, people have a strong desire to go out and be pleasure, they aspire to beautiful things, as evidenced by their return to museums and concerts, “notes Rami Al Ali.

One of the models of the new White line on sale on the stylist’s e-shop – Rami Al Ali

For his new Haute Couture collection, the designer has reconnected with his origins and this baroque era, which has always fascinated him. “It’s a time that I find very rich and inspiring,” he says. Chiffon, tulle or silk dresses are embroidered with pearls or golden thread. “Gold is the key element of the collection, it is also a very important element in the region,” recalls the 49-year-old designer. We find it in a bustier dress with a Victorian corset cut in a golden pleated organza, or in embroidery on white tulle outfits.

Rami Al Ali also uses it for the first time in a kind of very flowing crystal-mesh metallic mesh, in which he makes shiny honey-colored pants and a long slit dress. Another novelty, these white feathers, usually used on hats, that he plants on a top or a bustier to create volume while lightness.

The couturier studied at the Beaux-Arts in Damascus before turning to fashion in 1995, working between Beirut and Dubai, where he ended up settling and creating his own fashion house in 2001. After a first fashion show in Rome in 2009, Rami al Ali made a name for himself in Paris in January 2012, during Haute Couture Week, where he has been parading every season since.

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